Trucking jobs increase, overall transportation industry takes a hit

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 11/6/2015

October marked the first month of net job losses for the transportation sector after eight months of job gains. The trucking industry was one of the few exceptions, making a modest job gain.

The overall transportation sector lost more than 2,000 jobs in October, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the first loss since January when the industry lost nearly 9,000 jobs.

The truck transportation subsector experienced a slight increase of 400 jobs after the industry lost 4,000 in September and gained 700 in August. September was only the second month of 2015 in which the trucking industry lost jobs. Nearly 7,000 truck transportation jobs were lost in March.

“Support activities for transportation” experienced the largest job loss with more than 7,000 eliminated. Warehousing and storage jobs received a relatively large hike in jobs with more than 5,000 injected into the economy. Air transportation also had a relatively large gain of 2,000 jobs.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $22.93 for October, a 12-cent increase from September. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees increased 4 cents to $20.71. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $25.20, 9 cents higher from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.5 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is up to 6.7 percent from 6.4 percent last October. The overall unemployment rate for the country stayed stagnant at 5 percent. The unemployment rate for August through October is the lowest since April 2008 and is considered to be “full employment.” The number of long-term unemployed saw little change compared with the previous month at 2.1 million. However, that number has decreased by 748,000 in the past 12 months.

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